SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As the son of a former major league baseball player and current coach, new San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis didn't get to share his NFL moment with his father Friday night.
That's because Gary Pettis, who played 11 seasons in the majors, was busy coaching third base for the Houston Astros against the Oakland Athletics as the NFL draft's second round was playing out.
"I haven't talked to him yet," Dante Pettis said. "They actually have a game right now. They just started about 20 minutes ago. Hopefully he'll come in during one of the innings and, you know, can call me. So, I haven't talked to him yet."
When that conversation happens, Pettis can tell his father how the 49ers prioritized him enough as a new weapon for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo that they traded up 15 spots in the second round to secure his rights.
San Francisco shipped pick Nos. 59 and 74 to the Washington Redskins for picks 44 and 142. The Niners used that 44th pick on Pettis.
At 6-foot-1, Pettis wouldn't be considered big for his position, but he's instantly one of the taller receivers on the roster. More importantly, Pettis had a wildly productive career at Washington. He caught 22 touchdown passes over the past two seasons and was also a dynamic punt returner, setting an NCAA record with nine returns for touchdowns in his career.
Pettis paid a pre-draft visit to the Niners and had a good idea the team was interested in drafting him. In San Francisco, Pettis, who can line up at any of the receiver positions, will likely compete with the likes of Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson and Kendrick Bourne for snaps behind Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin.
The Pettis family athletic legacy isn't limited to Gary and Dante Pettis. Dante's cousin, Austin, also was a wide receiver and a 2011 third-round pick of the then-St. Louis Rams. Dante's brother, Kyler, is currently an actor appearing on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives." Dante said having a professional athlete as a father only helped guide the way to his own journey to the NFL.
"It was awesome growing up," Dante said. "I've been around professional sports my whole life. I already have the lay of the land. Obviously, football is a little bit different than baseball, but for the most part, it's still a professional sport. They all go about their business pretty much the same way. I'm just excited to actually be here now."